Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that no compensation had been paid to the family of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’ and his brother Khalid Muzaffar Wani, who was killed during an anti-militant operation in April 2015, PTI reported. Mufti’s statement came after it was reported that the state government had approved the release of compensation to Wani’s family in December 2016.
The chief minister also said that ex-gratia payments had been made to the relatives of 77 soldiers killed in the Valley since January 2015. On Monday, she had announced that special investigation teams had been set up in Srinagar and Pulwama to probe allegations that security forces had used excessive force against civilians during the unrest in Kashmir.
While addressing the state Assembly, Mufti had announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh for those who had lost members of their family to firing by security forces. Those blinded by pellets fired by security personnel using pump-action guns will be offered government jobs, as well, she had said.
In December, Mufti had said that it was necessary to differentiate between militants and their families, following criticism after reports on compensation to Wani’s family emerged. “We cannot look at both in the same manner,” she had said, according to The Indian Express. Several political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party that is in an alliance with Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party in Kashmir, had condemned the decision to compensate the Wani family.
The state has seen violent protests and retaliatory police action since Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8, 2016. Nearly 100 civilians and several security personnel were killed, while thousands sustained serious injuries in clashes with security forces. For months, everyday life came to a standstill in the Valley because of calls for curfews and restrictions on internet services imposed to prevent further violence.